Caleta De Campos
When gringos in Mexico talk about Hwy 200 they usually have a few third hand stories to toss around. Although it is Mexico's primary coastal road, not many people have driven the stretch south of Manzanillo and those that have don't tend to share their experience on the Internet. And so when we began to plan to travel north of Zihuatanejo I found there is very little information available on where to stay and what to expect. We reserved a rental car, started doing some extensive detective work and eventually decided on lodging in a little town called Caleta de Campos. This small town is located about two to three hours by car north of Zihuatanejo. Although I had the names of a few hotels in the area, I ran across a brief mention of an intriguing private home in town called, "Villa Tropical". After disecting their website I decided a five bedroom Villa was JUST the ticket to top off an adventure to Michoacan. Besides looking fabulous, it was a short drive to that mecca of surfing, Nexpa. So I reasoned, Gerry - our official surfer...ok - boogie boarder... would be thrilled and I could justify the expense. I wrote, John, the American who owns the house and negotiated a 'partial use' rate - two bedrooms out of the entire five. Although he would rent it on a per room basis I wanted this Villa to ourselves and got him to agree to slightly less than the full rate... private pool, great view - WHEW I was excited!
So this week we take off and head out of Zihuatanejo past familiar terrain and landmarks. Eventually we start having to consult our maps and concentrate on something other than changing the radio channels when we hit the state of Michoacan and Lazaro Cardenas. With only a stray 'bicker' or two we manage to find our way through the big city hubbub and are once again on Hwy 200. As we travel up the coast we can see a marked contrast with the landscape of Guerrero. The coastal vegetation is much lusher and high sheer cliffs frame the beautiful deserted beaches far below. Eventually we reach Caleta, find Villa Tropical and meet John, who for a few days will serve as our new landlord. He greets us in a loud, friendly voice and shows us around this "Homage to Surfing". Truly, the house is Casa Surf City. It is beautiful and tastefully decorated but is accented with classic surf boards and surf memorabilia on all the walls. Stacks of surfer journals dating from years past and surfing reference material are everywhere. I feel as though I could write a thesis about the history of surf right then and there. But of more interest to me is the pristine pool (with indoor/ outdoor tunnel) and the 180 degree view which is - unbelievable. John gives us a few pointers about the workings of the villa and then, putting some REALLY LOUD reggae on the CD player, leaves us to our own devices. Although I appreciate the gesture, reggae is one of those genres that after one song I want to pull my hair out...two songs and I'm ready to slit my wrists. But Mr. Surf's (aka John) pep talk about the awesome waves and breaks in Nexpa leave us all feeling really cool and oh so 'surfy'. So stacking the boogie boards in the built in board rack in the hall, (who has a built in rack!!??) I bop away to Bob Marley and try to figure out how to casually drop words like 'gnarly' into my conversation.
Caleta is a small Mexican town that has two distinct areas - the main street with assorted tiendas, restaurants, hardware stores and the requisite Zocalo while down the hill lies a beach area adjacent to the bay. This latter area features many enmaradas and a semi-protected bay for swimming, boogie boarding or easy surfing. We spend a couple of afternoons there and also wander the main street of town. In both cases we see only one other couple that look as though they might be Americans or Canadians.(shorts.. tank tops.. burned skin) Not to say there are no tourists. Mexican tourists come flooding in on friday afternoon and crowd the beach and enmaradas. I feel welcome though and by our second visit to a local main street restaurant, Adelitas, we are treated like family. (Fish right from the boats and wonderful fresh tortillas made for every order)
But next on our agenda? Nexpa!
Labels: Caleta De Campos